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How To Disable Noise Cancellation On iPhone [iOS Tips]

noise cancellation

Some folks find that the iPhone’s noise-cancellation feature causes a weird, uncomfortable sensation. It’s a product of the way the technology works, as Apple Discussion member KiltedTim says, linking to HowStuffWorks:

“In order to cancel out background noise, the sound is not “eliminated” from the audio stream you’re hearing. It is countered by a second audio stream that basically eliminates your ability to hear it.

Since the sound and the “counter sound” are still hitting your eardrum, this can result in an odd sensation. Your ear is processing the sound, but your brain isn’t registering it. Since the inner ear controls balance, this will produce a dizzying effect in some people.”

If this is bothering you, here’s how to turn off the noise-cancellation feature, which Apple added to iOS 7. (Originally exclusive to the iPhone 5s, noise cancellation is now available to older devices in iOS 7.1.)

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How To Add To, Hide And Reorder Those Pesky Sidebar Items [OS X Tips]

Sidebar

The OS X sidebar, introduced in Mac OS X Panther (10.3), has gotten an increased set of features over the years, including the most recent changes in Mountain Lion, which let you Hide and change the order of your Sidebar items.

These changes carried over to Mavericks, and it’s possible some of us forgot that we could do these things, if we even knew it in the first place.

In the spirit of showing you how to do do stuff you may have missed, here’s how to add things to your Sidebar, hide them when you don’t want to see them, and then move them into a different order over there on the left-hand side of your Finder window.

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How To Enter Extensions For Conference Rooms In Contacts App [iOS Tips]

extensions

We’ve all had to do it: make those conference calls to services that require you to enter in a code, or a room number, or what have you.

If you call these numbers frequently and want to save a little time, you can enter in the extensions and codes into your Contacts app, but you’ll want to code in the bit of wait you’ll need for the conference call system to recognize it.

It’s easy to do, and you can do this right on your iPhone.

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How To Enable And Customize Video Subtitles [OS X Tips]

photo Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

photo Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Many videos that you purchase these days via iTunes or other sources have subtitles, those little words beneath the screen that were created to help caption videos.

These can be useful for someone with a hearing impairment, or who reads a different language than the one being spoken in the video, to watch these during a movie.

In OS X Mavericks, you can easily get subtitles going in any supported video, and you can customize the way they look, as well. Here’s how to find out if your video supports subtitles, how to turn them on and how to change their look and feel.

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Better Security On That Macbook: Turn Off File Sharing, Enable AirDrop [OS X Tips]

Airdrop Top
When you travel with a Mac laptop, whether a Macbook Pro or Air, you may be leaving it open to malicious users to get into your machine.

One of the things you can do to keep them out of your precious files is to turn off File Sharing completely. Then, if you still want to share files with other Mac users, you can use AirDrop, which is more of a temporary opening of the security gates than File Sharing is.

Note that you can indeed improve security while using File Sharing on and setting up your Firewall with specific ports, but that’s the subject of a different tip.

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How To Get Media Into iTunes Faster [OS X Tips]

iTunes Easy Add

I’m all for getting my stuff into iTunes more efficiently, aren’t you? Jordan Merrick is, too, and he’s come up with a brilliant way to do just that. He’s also got a great site full of clever tips there as well. Really, go check it out.

The default way, says Merrick, for media to get to iTunes is like this: drag and drop a folder full of music or a video you’ve converted from DVD to iTunes. iTunes takes said media, copies it, and places it into its own special folder structure.

What happens in this case is that you’re left holding two copies of that album or video — one in your iTunes folder and one wherever you pulled it from. That’s kind of silly, if you ask me, especially if you back up regularly. No one needs two copies of anything on their hard drive.

Luckily, there’s a cool folder in your iTunes folder that lets you add stuff directly to iTunes. Sadly, it’s pretty buried, but Merrick will show you a better way.

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How To Let Some Calls Get Past Do Not Disturb [iOS Tips]

No One

We’ve been using the Do Not Disturb function on our iPhones since iOS 6, really, as the feature really helps us have some down time. You can schedule or enable the feature for easy access, keeping those pesky calls, messages, and notifications off your iPhone screen when you just don’t have the brain space to deal.

But what about those calls and messages you really do need to get? What do you do there? Luckily, there are a couple of options to let certain calls come through.

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Search The Web For Terms In Mobile Safari [iOS Tips]

Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

When you’re using OS X, you can search the web for any term you can right click on. You simply do so and then choose “Search Google for [highlighted word].”

In iOS, there doesn’t appear to be any way to do the same thing.

There is, however, a work around.

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How To Disable App Nap For Specific Apps [OS X Tips]

Prevent App Nap

According to Apple, its App Nap advanced technology feature in Mavericks helps you save power when you’re working with more than one app at a time. The system knows when a certain app is in the background, completely hidden by other apps’ windows. When that app isn’t doing anything, then, OS X will slow the app down, keeping it from using up CPU cycles, and thus battery power.

It’s a great feature, and one of the reasons why your Macbook may seem to have more battery life than it used to, thanks to Mavericks.

When switching to a napping app, it can seem to take a couple of seconds for OS X to get that app back up to speed. If you want to reduce the start up time of a napped app, you can disable App Nap for it.

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Still Think You Can’t Do Real Work On The iPad? A Lot Has Changed Since 2010

Still Think You Can’t Do Real Work On The iPad? A Lot Has Changed Since 2010

This story first appeared in Cult of Mac Magazine.

Back when I worked exclusively on my iPad, writing posts for Cult of Mac and everything related to that, I had a hell of a time getting some things done. It seemed like every tiny step needed to be researched before I could get anything done.

In the end, I quit and went back to a split iPad/iMac setup, but not for the reasons you might think.

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